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Lord Have Mercy, Pre-T33n Design

I am giddy.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my discovery of HTML, right around sixth grade, and how that pushed me down a track to becoming a web-focused designer. Thinking about table-based layouts made me nostalgic, and I wished that I had saved some record of my earliest attempts at making sites.

Thanks to Wayback Machine, I can finally show off the travesty I was making in the early days of user-generated web (and would love to see your tragic firsts too!).

Expage screenshot

Here we have, my very first website. At the time I hadn’t heard of Geocities or Angelfire, so in order to build a site on Expage I had to register one page at a time. I’m guessing the empty box had an image that wasn’t cached. Fruity Raindrops was the successor, the pinnacle of my pre-teen sites, if you could call it that. Sadly the Wayback Machine didn’t save much from there.

Expage screenshot

The content menu. Yes, that background is animated. All girly websites at the time had Me, You, and Fun Stuff sections. If you were “creative,” you named them something interesting. Apparently I deemed myself ~~ The Princess ~~

Expage screenshot

Page name suggestions! If you can read them.

Expage screenshot

Apparently I was cool enough to distribute awards. Yay for circa-2002 marketing tactics.

And finally, Melanie’s website tips, 2002, verbatim:

  1. Use a layout to keep it nice and neat.
  2. Don’t be a copy-catter off of other sites.
  3. Offer to link peeps on ur site.
  4. Include graphics on ur site.
  5. Have things available for peeps to put on their site.
  6. Make ur page bright and colorful.
  7. Don’t have a bunch of pop-ups–they get ANNOYING!
  8. Have a page rater.
  9. Have lots of subpages.
  10. Learn tons of html from make sure all linx r correct–broken linx get ANNOYING, 2
  11. Get a guestbook from somewhere lyk
  12. In fact, get a lot of kewlio things @ Bravenet.
  13. Don’t b boring! Here’s boring: your name, shoutouts, thanks 4 goin 2 my site, tell ur friends about it. I’ve seen a lot lyk that and they honestly stink!
  14. Have fun and CONSTANTLY expand ur site! Effort will b noticed!


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